Course Descriptions (Year 1)

Course Descriptions (Year 1)

Clinical Day

Students get their first taste of the clinical aspects of medicine by leaving the classroom and entering the community. Using the biopsychosocial model, students learn about history-taking and the psychological aspects of hospitalized patients, from pediatric patients through to adults and the geriatric population. In addition to a variety of patient age groups, students experience a range of settings through field excursions to clinics and health facilities in and around Beer-Sheva.

Students are given the opportunity to interact freely with patients, present basic knowledge in conducting a medical interview, demonstrate knowledge and skill in the different forms of doctor-patient communication in various situations and traditional settings, and understand the impacts of acute and chronic diseases on patients and their surroundings.

Emergency Medicine

Students learn the basic skills a physician needs in order to save lives in emergencies and everyday situations. Most of the training is conducted in small groups with a personal instructor. Students will learn to recognize situations that require CPR, and acquire basic and intermediate skills to provide life support to adults, children and infants. Pre-hospital and basic in-hospital emergency care procedures will be taught: specifically, rescue techniques and life support for the trauma patient. These skills include the use of an external defibrillator, insertion of IV lines, backboard extrication, immobilization of airway management and more.

Hebrew Language

In the intensive summer Hebrew Language course, students learn to read and write the alphabet and acquire a basic understanding of the spoken language. Throughout the year, students will study four hours of Hebrew per week. Teaching emphasis will be on spoken language and medical terminology, with a goal of enabling effective performance in the third-year clinical rotations.


Basic physiology focuses on three levels: molecular, subcellular and cellular. Through this course, students will learn the relationship between structure and function, which creates a basis for understanding the activity of tissue and organs. Comprehension of fundamental physiology at the cellular level will be the basis for further study of physiology systems.


Microbiology is an integrative course combining bacteriology, virology, parasitology and mycology. Through this course, students gain sufficient background knowledge for understanding the origins of infectious diseases, the biology of disease-causing organisms, identification methods and approaches to microbial chemotherapy. Teaching methods include lectures as well as practical laboratories, where students learn the approaches currently used for the identification and characterization of the main human pathogens.


This course presents a broad picture of the molecular and cellular basis of life, allowing students to learn the means by which living organisms transform energy and assemble molecules of great complexity. There is an emphasis on inherited metabolic diseases that disturb normal homeostasis. Teaching methods include case studies, discussions, lectures and supplementary self-study.

Human Genetics

This course combines cytogenetics and molecular genetics, with an emphasis on relevance to clinical human genetics, genetic testing and genetic counseling. The first lectures deal with basic cytogenetics, mitosis and meiosis, then the course moves on to pathologies of chromosome number and structure, as well as the relevant clinical syndromes. Students also learn about Mendelian inheritance, non-Mendelian genetics (such as genomic imprinting, multifactorial diseases, expansion repeats and anticipation), linkage analysis, population genetics and risk assessment. Toward the end of the course, students study pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, get a short overview of cancer genetics, and then learn about genetic screening tests, screening tests in pregnancy and clinical dysmorphology.


Students will learn basic skills necessary to identify and understand the properties of human tissues: their organization, function and microscopic appearance. They will learn to recognize specific tissues and organs and understand the link between structure and function on the cellular and tissue levels; demonstrate basic techniques to prepare and study the substructure of cells, tissues and organs; and prepare the foundation of knowledge for understanding the histology of organs and systems.


Students will acquire familiarity with the cells and molecules of the immune system, as well as the immune system’s normal and abnormal course and its role in several important immune-related diseases. Each lesson will open with a class analysis of clinical cases relating to a particular aspect of immunology, followed by a lecture. After engaging with the material, students will then revisit and attempt to solve the cases. The first half of the course covers cell types and related molecules, while the second half involves response to pathogens and immune disorders.

Introduction to Pharmacology

Students will be introduced to the fundamental mechanisms and principles of drug action, including the parameters that affect and determine the optimal use of drugs in a specific patient or population. Topics include pharmacokinetics involving the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs; pharmacodynamics involving drug action taught as interactions of an active compound with human physiological and pathological systems; the development and regulation of new drugs; and basic principles of toxicology.


Students will reflect on advances made in biology and medicine in recent years, including the isolation of the multi-potential stem cell and the discovery of new growth factors regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Students will understand the biology and pathology of hematopoiesis, the physiology of white and red blood cells and platelets, hemostasis, and transfusion medicine. A global health and medicine emphasis will focus on diseases prevalent in a variety of regions around the world.

Introduction to Pathology

Students will gain the basic tools with which to expand their knowledge of medicine and learn to think about disease in terms of basic scientific facts and clinical medicine interpretations. This course aims to provide the knowledge needed to understand the frailties and suffering of the patients behind the symptoms, as well as the functional and morphological deficits of disease. Course material is presented in lectures, laboratory exercises and presentations.

Molecular and Cell Biology

This course elaborates on the regulation of the cell machinery, starting with the basic structure and function of organelle activity, cellular life cycle, information processing in the cell, and the ways in which these processes differ between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. At the cellular level, students consider molecular trafficking across membranes, targeting and the involvement of the cytoskeletal components, the molecular bases of protein degradation, programmed cell death, and cancer progression. At the molecular genetics level, students will learn how the basic elements of information processing in the cell have become key tools in disease diagnosis and therapy.


As the basic science of public health, which is itself a basic component of global health, epidemiology is an essential introduction to global health medicine. Students learn the basic components of disease transmission, measures of morbidity (such as incidence and prevalence), and the various ways of measuring mortality, including survival analysis and the principles of measuring the validity and reliability of diagnostic and screening tests. Later in the course, students deal with study design and the importance of evaluation studies with regard to screening programs and health services research. Homework assignments allow students to study real-life examples, such as the investigation of a foodborne outbreak and the adjustment of mortality rates, as well as epidemiological literature.


This course will introduce students to the statistical methods that are most often used in medical literature. Students will learn the underlying theory and logic of biostatistics, as well as fundamental concepts, hypothesis testing and when to use various statistical tests. Students will learn to critically read medical literature and perform basic data analysis.

Endocrine System

The endocrine system is the means by which the body communicates among its organs via messenger molecules. This course will prepare students to identify and treat endocrine disorders through an integrative approach, covering anatomy, histology, physiology, pathophysiology and pathology. Students will learn to describe and identify normal and abnormal physical symptoms, signs and laboratory findings, and distinguish between primary, secondary and tertiary endocrine disorders.

Introduction to Oncology

This course will introduce students to the treatment of patients with cancer. Topics examined include the molecular basis of cancer; the epidemiology of common cancers; the difference between curative and palliative care; principles of radiotherapy; the basics of chemotherapy, biologic and personalized therapy; and ethics and multidisciplinary care.

Medical Ethics

This course enables students to identify the various ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine and analyze them from different ethical perspectives, including principlism, casuistry, and relational and religious perspectives. In this course, students will study the various laws relating to medical ethics that are relevant in Israel and contrast them to laws in other countries.

Global Health Modules

During years one and two of your studies, you are required to complete four global health modules. Modules are short courses of 12 hours (four meetings of 3 hours each) and are presented by visiting experts from Israel and abroad. Global health modules are very popular among our students, who value the opportunity to choose from meaningful topics in their areas of interest.

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